What really makes great food? Ingredients. Essentially, what you put into a dish has a direct correlation to what the end result is. This is the same as with anything in life really, you use cheap lumber on a deck, it won’t last as long, you go cheap on the paint on the exterior of your house, you are going to be doing over again sooner than you think. This is how it is with food as well except, you get one chance to use those ingredients. I want to stress this down to the most basic level. Some people put lots of focus on buying high quality meat, a prime rib for example or local farm raised chicken but then use an onion that is going bad or stock from a can when making the sauce for this. Homemade stocks, high quality vegetables, good meat, and of course fresh spices will make all the difference in the world with the final outcome of your dish. The difference between that little plastic lemon you get at the grocery store and freshly squeezing a fresh lemon for a picatta sauce will be the difference between having something be edible or memorable. Take the time, spend the money, and put in the care and effort into making great food and ultimately, you will be rewarded with great food.